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Letters in Revelation

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#1
Donibm

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This is more of a "study" thread, but since I cannot create threads in that section...

 

This is not going to be exhaustive.  I'm only going to point out a few simple things that are often overlooked.

 

1)

John was on an island, not travelling all over the place.  So, how could he have known what was going on in all those locations?  He couldn't.  How can someone from Bermuda know what is going on in Cuba, or North Carolina, or Texas, or Florida (before all this technology)?  They couldn't.  Likewise, John couldn't have known what was going on in those locations, so the RECEPIENTS clearly received the letters with great joy, knowing and convinced that it was inspired by Jesus, not observed by John.

 

2)

Jesus opened each letter with two powerful words, that I'm finding most overlook - I KNOW.

 

Not only was He saying that He was well aware, but that He also understood because He Himself suffered greatly, and was poor, and was often hungry, and was beaten, and made to feel ashamed, etc.

 

3)

The letters were not for those individual Churches only, but for ALL Christians across ALL generations.  As the saying goes, "who the cap fits - wear it."

 

We know this because of how each letter ends.  "... what the Spirit says to the ChurchES".  That is plural.  And it is not specific to a location, but to the body of Christ.  So, when you read those letters, you should be asking yourself, which of them do YOU fit into.

 

 

... maybe some more later.  I've a great deal to say about Revelation, but too much to type in any online thread.  Still, just sharing these morsels.



#2
Atwood

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Donibm: These are good points you made. Yes, I think we could well ask about both a local church and about ourselves, which of the 7 church-types are you? We would like to be either Smyrna or Philadelphia, since they get no rebuke -- though we may be too chicken to really want to be Smyrna! Because of the correspondence between these 7 churches and the history of Christendom, I am inclined to think that the 7 churches are not only literal city-churches, but also typical of 7 movements in "Church History."

#3
Spock

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Eating my popcorn (while waiting for the next scene)

You have my attention. I love me some Revelation talk. Nice start.

Spock drooling in anticipation

#4
bopeep1909

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Do you think there are many Churches standing like the Church of Philadelphia?



#5
Atwood

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BoPeep asks: "Do you think there are many Churches standing like the Church of Philadelphia?"

Let's check out the likenesses:

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These things says
He Who is holy,
He Who is true,
He Who has the key of David,
He Who opens and none shall shut, and who shuts and none opens:

8 I know your works
(behold, I have set before you a door opened, which none can shut),

that you
have a little power and
kept my word and
did not deny my name.


9 Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them who say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie;
behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

10 Because
you kept the word of my endurance,

I also will keep you from the hour of trial,
that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them who dwell upon the earth.
11 I come rapidly:
hold fast
that which you have, that no one take your crown.

12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.
13 He Who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

SO LET'S SEE HOW THEY STOOD:

They have works

They
have a little power and
kept Christ's word (and the word of His endurance)
and
did not deny His name.


They have something, a crown coming.
that which you have, that no one take your crown.

They have works so I think they were not lazy (big sin). Diligence is the virtue (neither haste nor laziness). I don't see them as Sunday go to meeting Christians. They have a fellowship that furthers the gospel (see the theme of Philippians). Some churches may have a fellowship that is vain. Are not many churches mostly wasting time? IMHO, for every Church where significant sermons are preached, there are at least 1000 dud-preacher-churches where lazy preachers (who hardly prepared) blather away saying nothing significant, boring the congregation out of its gourd or scratching itching ears.

They
have a little power.

How many have even a little? This reminds one of faith the size of a mustard seed. They actually win some souls and edify some saints. Many have a form of the gospel but deny its power, or pervert the true power of the gospel in transforming persons into sensational nonsense, pew-hopping madmen playing church with magician tricks.

and
kept Christ's word (and the word of His endurance)
For every church where they actually believe Christ's word, there must be at least 1000 where the fact that the Word is true, is a matter of debate or disregard.

and
did not deny His name.
Denial of the nature of Christ is quite common. It can be practically against the law to pray in Christ's name. There must be many churches where Christ is another religious teacher alongside others.

They have something, a crown coming.
that which you have, that no one take your victor's wreath/crown.
I suppose there must be few churches around where there are many soul-winners eligible for the soul-winners crown.

Typically speaking, it seems to me that:

right now we have at least two Church/Christendom eras overlapping (and probably four); that is, movements that started sequentially but overlap before they end: Thyatira being the Papist, Sardis being the Reformation, Philadelphia being the great missionary movement, and Laodicea being the modern apostate pseudo-church of the unregenerate. There still are Philadelphia missionary/evangelizing churches where real Bible teaching occurs. And I expect that movement to continue until the Rapture (this Church is promised not to go through the tribulation), while Laodicea goes into the tribulation.

#6
Cletus

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Something I would like to add that is found in all seven letters is a commendation or what the did or are doing good if there is anything l7ke say the letter to laodicea there is no commendation. Next there is criticism. If there is one listed like say philidelphia dont have one and I am not totaly sure but maybe not in the leter to the church of smyrna. Next there is instruction I.e. repent, be faithful unto death, keep the faith, ect. Then there is the promise. Such as tree of life, crown of life, a stone with a new name, share christs throne, etc.
I know all this is fairly obvious but I had read these letters many times before realizing this and I thought maybe it could help someone so anyway thats my 2 pence.

#7
19Duggarfan

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Eating my popcorn (while waiting for the next scene)

You have my attention. I love me some Revelation talk. Nice start.

Spock drooling in anticipation

 

I wholeheartedly agree Spock, this should be very interesting

 

 

Do you think there are many Churches standing like the Church of Philadelphia?

 

Thanks for asking this question Bopeep, as I really enjoyed reading Atwood responses.

 

 

BoPeep asks: "Do you think there are many Churches standing like the Church of Philadelphia?"

Let's check out the likenesses:

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These things says
He Who is holy,
He Who is true,
He Who has the key of David,
He Who opens and none shall shut, and who shuts and none opens:

8 I know your works
(behold, I have set before you a door opened, which none can shut),

that you
have a little power and
kept my word and
did not deny my name.


9 Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them who say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie;
behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.

10 Because
you kept the word of my endurance,

I also will keep you from the hour of trial,
that hour which is to come upon the whole world, to try them who dwell upon the earth.
11 I come rapidly:
hold fast
that which you have, that no one take your crown.

12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.
13 He Who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

SO LET'S SEE HOW THEY STOOD:

They have works

They
have a little power and
kept Christ's word (and the word of His endurance)
and
did not deny His name.


They have something, a crown coming.
that which you have, that no one take your crown.

They have works so I think they were not lazy (big sin). Diligence is the virtue (neither haste nor laziness). I don't see them as Sunday go to meeting Christians. They have a fellowship that furthers the gospel (see the theme of Philippians). Some churches may have a fellowship that is vain. Are not many churches mostly wasting time? IMHO, for every Church where significant sermons are preached, there are at least 1000 dud-preacher-churches where lazy preachers (who hardly prepared) blather away saying nothing significant, boring the congregation out of its gourd or scratching itching ears.

They
have a little power.
How many have even a little? This reminds one of faith the size of a mustard seed. They actually win some souls and edify some saints. Many have a form of the gospel but deny its power, or pervert the true power of the gospel in transforming persons into sensational nonsense, pew-hopping madmen playing church with magician tricks.

and
kept Christ's word (and the word of His endurance)
For every church where they actually believe Christ's word, there must be at least 1000 where the fact that the Word is true, is a matter of debate or disregard.

and
did not deny His name.
Denial of the nature of Christ is quite common. It can be practically against the law to pray in Christ's name. There must be many churches where Christ is another religious teacher alongside others.

They have something, a crown coming.
that which you have, that no one take your victor's wreath/crown.
I suppose there must be few churches around where there are many soul-winners eligible for the soul-winners crown.

Typically speaking, it seems to me that:

right now we have at least two Church/Christendom eras overlapping (and probably four); that is, movements that started sequentially but overlap before they end: Thyatira being the Papist, Sardis being the Reformation, Philadelphia being the great missionary movement, and Laodicea being the modern apostate pseudo-church of the unregenerate. There still are Philadelphia missionary/evangelizing churches where real Bible teaching occurs. And I expect that movement to continue until the Rapture (this Church is promised not to go through the tribulation), while Laodicea goes into the tribulation.

 

Excellent Response Atwood, you have given me some fresh food to chew on.



#8
Spock

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Hey Atwood,

Do you think your response here as well as our Lord's answers to the 7 churches lends "some credibility" to my two rapture theory?

Philadelphia church-faithful only believers get a secret before tribulation rapture (Sardis probably too)

Other churches - not clean enough in need of some purging, thus into the fire. These people get Raptured before wrath of God is unleashed (7th seal)


Thoughts?

#9
Donibm

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@ Atwood,

 

For me, I've identified where I fall.  I've done it in  personal conversation and in online threads.  It's really no wonder or question.  But I do wonder about those tho think they are "alive" but are dead.  I wonder if they can discern who they are.

 

Intersting, but I'm much slower to adopt things that are beyond what is written.  Perhaps there is a measure to the movements, but then again, the CHURCH is not a certain area or a certain age of a certain nation.  The CHURCH transcends nations, cultures and generations.  The CHURCH, are the born against believers, whether they are black, white or Asian, rich or poor, male or female, educated or not, great and mighty in works or new converts.  So, to me, it is far beyond an age or movement, though elements of what is in Revelation could most certainly apply.



#10
Donibm

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@ Spock. 

 

Funny.

 

Well, there is another morsel, and it concerns the Jews.

 

The part that says "who say they are Jews, but are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan" ... isn't talking about people who claim to be Jews, it IS about Jews.  Let me explain...

 

Jesus is having this message sent to Christians.  Jews rejected the Messiah, and as such, were rejected BY the Messiah.  They are heading for damnation.  No if, ands or buts about it.  Jesus Himself said to them that they will feel awful when their fathers and all nations enter in but they themselves are cast out into outter darkness.

 

You see, Isaiah said it.  Isaiah told us who and what ISRAEL really is.  He said that Israel are those who turn from sin (basically).  What Isaiah was saying was reinforced and further explained by Paul.  Paul wrote that the real Jew is not the one with blood ties to Jacob, but the one who is INWARDLY.  Basically, and African who has a heart towards God and a desire to live for Him is more of a Jew than someone who is unsaved, rejects God, but can prove their geneology tie right back to king David.  A lot of things the Paul taught weren't actually new teachings.  They were things that existed already in the Hebrew text, such as circumcising the foreskin of your heart.  That was what Moses originally taught, not Paul.

 

So, fast forward to Revelation and you see Jesus Himself essentially saying that "You see these Jews?  These ones who have rejected Me?  These, whom My bride will call "Judaizers" in times to come?  They are not of Me.  They do not belong to Me.  Their persecution of you is of no command of Mine.  In fact, I don't even know them and I have already cut them off."

 

Basically, that is what Jesus was saying to those Gentile/Jewish Christians in that Church.  He was saying that their geneology means nothing to Him and they are not what they boast about - Gods special little people (for God Himself had cut them off, evidenced by all the suffereing and them being scattered).

 

I think, when people learn what "only a remnant will be saved" really means, they will know that Isaiah was talking about only a small number of Jacobs descendants will enter the Kingdom.

 

But when they also learn what "all of Israel will be saved", they will know that ISRAEL is all the saints, from every nation, tongue, creed, since even before Jacob was born.  Job was no Hebrew, but he is indeed part of Israel, because he died in Gods will.

 

This is what Isaiah and Paul were saying ... and what Jesus was eluding to.

 

"They call themselves Jews, but are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan" - Jesus

 

Powerful, powerful words by our Lord.  But too often people forget who the audience was - Christians - and they forget about the persecution of the Christians by the Judaizers.  But God has told us, that not even the Jews are in any position or right to tell us that we are wrong in Jesus.

 

 

Think on it.  Read it.  Pray about it ... if you have a problem with it due to mainstream teaching and rumor spreading.  This has nothing to so with "fake Jews", such as these Hebrew Israelites walking around, or these people who go through the hard process of converting to Judaism, and then are called "Jew" ... but have no bloodline to Jacob.  Now, this isn't what Jesus is talking about at all.  He is talking about JEWS, but because of their rejection of Him, He has rejected them.

 

And since Paul was called and sent by Jesus, is not Paul correct when he says that the REAL JEW is one who is inward (children of faith and obedience) and not one outwardly (bloodline of Jacob)?

 

Jesus warned the Jews not to boast of that, saying that God could turn the very stones into sons of Abraham.  lol  They trust in their bloodline and traditions to save them, but they are already doomed.

 

Only a remnant...

 

But ALL of Israel will be saved.

 

 

EDIT: and this is a Messianic Prophecy, that they would reject the Messiah (God) and in turn, will be rejected BY Him.



#11
bopeep1909

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Hey Atwood,

Do you think your response here as well as our Lord's answers to the 7 churches lends "some credibility" to my two rapture theory?

Philadelphia church-faithful only believers get a secret before tribulation rapture (Sardis probably too)

Other churches - not clean enough in need of some purging, thus into the fire. These people get Raptured before wrath of God is unleashed (7th seal)


Thoughts?

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

 

This very well could be a verse regarding the rapture.



#12
Donibm

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@ bopeep

 

Of course.  But remember to attribute it to a PERSONAL and INDIVIDUAL level.  The Scripture is for all saints, and whomever falls into that category, falls into it.  So, are there Christians like all of these?  Absolutely.



#13
Donibm

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@ Cletus

 

I like your quote - Hosea 6:6

 

It is good that you see that there is no word of condemnation ... especially to the SUFFERING CHURCH.

 

Now, consider our African Christian brothers.  Consider how they are being raped, killed, and mutilated by those Muslims.  Consider their poverty.  Consider their Government doesn't want anything to do with Christendom.

 

They suffer.

 

But, in my eyes, they are some of the most POWERFUL CHRISTIANS ON THE PLANET.  Great is their dedication.  Great is their love to our Lord.  They are not so distracted by all the joys and comforts of Western Civilization.  Their preaching is POWERFUL.  I've seen one be douced with acid, terribly scarred for life, yet he remains in God and remains steadfast and prayerful.  Too many American Christians would have blamed God for their disfigurement and broken marriage due to a permanently and grossly scarred face!  Ye!  A reputation for being alive, but are DEAD!  Ye!  A reputation for being rich, but are poor, naked and ashamed!

 

But what blame can I lay at the feet of those brethren in poorer areas of the world?  Oppressive areas of the world?  What negative thing can I say about the persecuted Indians who are trying to spread the Gospel?  So, our Lord does not lay blame either, but instead, He lays comfort.  After all, what would it profit God to lay blame and further burden on a people who are suffering for HIM and HIS Glory ... constantly?  That would cause anyone to throw in the towel.  But our Lords yoke is easy, and His burden is light.



#14
Donibm

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Persecution does not destroy the Church ... it promotes it.

 

Seen it happen in Rome, when they made sport of us.  Instead of our forefathers going to their deaths whining and begging, they went singing songs of praise to our God. What happened was, all those people saw it over and over again, and then THEY started saying, "these people are innocent!" and then that quickly changed into "Look at how they meet their deaths with singing and praise, not cowardice and fear and pleading!  I want what THEY have!  I want to know this GOD whom they so adore, even under the pain of death!"

 

... and Christianity spread.

 

Unfortunately, Satan is more clever than we give him credit.  He was watching.  His Ba'al had not been removed, it only took on a different form.  And as such ... enter Constantine ... and the Catholic Institution ... and the Church was infiltrated and the persecution continued, it was driven underground ... for centuries and centuries ... from fear ... while the Vatican grew and grew.

 

But, there is a purity is suffering.  Even as the Scriptures tell us, that "sin looses its power when the body suffers"

 

Tell me, which of you want to go to the nightclub when you have a migraine headache?

 

Which of you want to commit sexual sin with a blown out back?

 

Who is thinking about lying, cheating or stealing when you are burying your beloved parents?

 

Who among you wants to rob a bank when your tooth aches so bad from a much needed root canal?

 

Indeed.  Sin looses its power when we suffer.  Now, reflect back on what Jesus said to the suffering Church...



#15
bopeep1909

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@ bopeep

 

Of course.  But remember to attribute it to a PERSONAL and INDIVIDUAL level.  The Scripture is for all saints, and whomever falls into that category, falls into it.  So, are there Christians like all of these?  Absolutely.

I am not sure I know your question.Only the true Christian who is faithful to God will take advantage of this.Many people in our world today are Christian in name only.



#16
OneLight

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To be honest, there are more then just one group of believers who suffer for the Lord. There are those who live in nations like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbek, and Laos, all whose live are in constant danger, but their love for the Lord thrives.



#17
bopeep1909

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To be honest, there are more then just one group of believers who suffer for the Lord. There are those who live in nations like North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbek, and Laos, all whose live are in constant danger, but their love for the Lord thrives.

Yes,OneLight that is what being faithful to the Lord is all about.Remaining faithful in suffering.Those who are starving,suffering from disease and illnesses of all kinds.These people are the reference to "the last will be first and the first will be last".



#18
Donibm

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@ bopeep

 

Ignore the psuedoChristians.  The letters arent' written for those who are Christian by name only.  They are left out of this, as they are left out in Revelation.

 

What I'm saying is that individually, there are Christians like all of the Churches mentioned in Revelation.



#19
Donibm

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One more thing about the letters. 

 

And again people, this is not meant to be exhaustive, and I certainly will not cover line by line, and certainly not all of Revelation.  If I did, it would be December and I'll still be typing about it. 

 

My only goal of these thread is to point out a few often overlooked things concerning the letters.  And even now I am skipping things.  But, there is one thing that I believe is more important than anything else I can (or should) type, and it is the reason for the Letters.

 

REPENT!!!

 

Observe: this isn't a message to the world, but a message to CHRISTIANS!

 

REPENT!

 

STOP IT!

 

TURN BACK!

 

YOU ARE BEHAVING TOO MUCH LIKE THE WORLD!!

 

Jesus is giving US, not the world, a stern and sharp warning to repent and turn back, to stop living in sin, to stop compromising the Truth, to stop living with one foot in the Church and one foot in the world, to stop heeding winds of doctrine, the err of Balaam, to stop heeding the Nicolatians, those who profess to be Christians, but aren't, and to even stop honoring the Jews above their station - they who mocked and rejected the Lord.

 

REPENT ... LEST IS REMOVE YOU FROM YOUR PLACE AND SNUFF OUT YOUR CANDLES!

 

This is perhaps, more important than anything else I could type concerning the letter.  The letters were written as a WARNING, and a COMMAND for the saints of God to REPENT, not a call to the world to repent, but for US to turn and get serious about our Salvation.  And, the promise of what will happen if we do NOT repent is also clearly noted.

 

"Be zealous therefor, and repent, for as much as I love, I chastise" - Jesus

 

I am being very, very serious with you brethren.  This is not just another "online thread".  I am encouraging your and admonishing you to the best of my ability over a mere webpage, without being wordy or scholastic (even with typing errors).   If you fall into any category, or if the Spirit convicts you, be zealous and REPENT!  Stop doing it.  Turn back.  This is the message of the Lord, not the teaching of a mere man.

 

To he that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to ALL CHRISTIANS.



#20
bopeep1909

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@ bopeep

 

Ignore the psuedoChristians.  The letters arent' written for those who are Christian by name only.  They are left out of this, as they are left out in Revelation.

 

What I'm saying is that individually, there are Christians like all of the Churches mentioned in Revelation.

Yes,I agree..






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